Palamas Transformed

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6 Responses to Palamas Transformed

  1. Fr Aidan Kimel says:

    Dr John A. Demetracopoulos is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Theology at the Department of Education, Faculty of Humanities and Social Studies, University of Patras, Greece.


  2. So St. Mark of Ephesus was a Thomist. That’s pretty funny.

    More seriously, let’s see if the document accurately portrays Thomas Aquinas’s account of divine simplicity. This is what it says about Palamas’s account:

    “Manuel’s argument that multiplicity … is supposed to be deemed a cause of composition … only if entailing “passion” (ch. 50), is Palamite tout-court” (pp. 333-334). Indeed, St. Gregory Palamas also makes the same argument in chapter 145 of the 150 Chapters, and says that the energies are not acted upon (i.e., do not entail passion), so do not compromise God’s simplicity.

    But how far is this from Thomas Aquinas’s account of simplicity and composition? Here is what Brandon Watson says: “On Thomas’s view, simplicity is noncomposition; and all compositio is in some way or another compositio actus et potentiae, a composition of actuality and passive potentiality (cf., e.g., SCG 1.18). If the distinction introduces no potentiality, it introduces no composition, and thus does not violate the doctrine of divine simplicity.”

    And this seems to be what St. Gregory was saying.


  3. Christiaan Kappes says:

    I would just mention to georgiosscholarios that actus essendi of Aquinas in the ST I was translated by Demetrius Cydones (c. 1358): αὐτὴ ἡ τοῦ εἶναι ἐνέργεια (The very act of being) and that Mark of Ephesus (discovered and published in another article of Nicolaus by J.A. Demetracopoulos) affirmed Aquinas’ vocabulary. I think he affirmed in his first antithetic agains Manuel Calecas (1430s) that God of course was a totally actualized: to energeiai einai. Mark was close and played with Thomism, but ultimately rejected it on the particular question of purely logically nature of the divine energies in our mind (but not in God’s self-vision and mind) for the same reasons that Scholarius in his 1445 translation-commentary on Aquinas’ De esse et essentia rejected Thomas’ belief; namely, Aquinas did not hold for a distinction as powerful as the formal distinction and therefore, could be reduced to a distinction of reason. Hence, the energies were only logical contracts of the human mind, not necessary products or excrescences from the divine being.

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  4. Christiaan Kappes says:

    Funny you should ask, that is the very question Fr. Aidan invited me to opine on for tomorrow!


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